Leadership and Spirituality
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Pay Attention to Attention

Pay Attention to Attention | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
These days, leaders are bombarded with numerous daily intrusions: urgent email, appointments every fifteen minutes, decisions ranging from hiring to overall vision. Most leaders now travel with

Via Jenny Ebermann
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:

Leading is about being present and in the moment that is always happening. It is not about describing what happened in the past and predicting the unknowable future. The former informs decisions, but cannot be repeated. The latter is about knowing that our goals are abstract as something to achieve. It is important we do not become attached to them and miss what is happening now.

 

I think of the way decisions are made in education, outside the classrooms. The teacher and students are living in the classroom where real decisions are happening.

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Leadership and Spirituality
What role does spirituality play in leadership? It makes the leader whole and fill the hole in the whole of the organization
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Practices From the Inside Out: The Stillness Between Words

Practices From the Inside Out: The Stillness Between Words | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Discerning. Monastic Strategy. Spiritual Practices.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I write and read poetry. It is the stillness and space between words that draws me to poetry. I discovered that being still and present in my teaching was essential to growing as a teacher and reaching out to my students.
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It can be hard, but reflection is a powerful exercise

It can be hard, but reflection is a powerful exercise | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Sometimes looking back is painful. Sometimes the memories of what has happened are not at all comfortable, not at all pleasant. It’s hard, so we lock it up deep in our minds and throw away the key…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
It is hard to reflect, in part because the objective is to critically self-reflect on who you are and what you are doing. I think the other challenge is finding a method that works for each person. It is somewhat idiosyncratic.
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The Science Behind What Really Drives Performance (It's Going to Surprise You)

The DDI report reveals a dire need for leaders with the skill of empathy. Only four out of 10 frontline leaders assessed in their massive study were proficient or strong on empathy.

Richard S. Wellins, senior vice president of DDI and one of the authors of the High-Resolution Leadership report, had this to say in a Forbes interview a year ago:

We feel [empathy] is in serious decline. More concerning, a study of college students by University of Michigan researchers showed a 34 percent to 48 percent decline in empathic skills over an eight-year period. These students are our future leaders!

We feel there are two reasons that account for this decline. Organizations have heaped more and more on the plates of leaders, forcing them to limit face-to-face conversations. Again, DDI research revealed that leaders spend more time managing than they do "interacting." They wish they could double their time spent interacting with others. The second reason falls squarely on the shoulders of technology, especially mobile smart devices. These devices have become the de rigueur for human interactions. Sherry Turkle, in her book, Reclaiming Conversation, calls them "sips of conversations."

Via David Hain, Roy Sheneman, PhD
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Empathy and emotional intelligence are essential to leading and performing. Central to these are face-to-face conversations with people and providing people with time for conversations, instead of relying on digital tools and social media. Sherry Turkle refers to those as "sips of conversation."
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David Hain's curator insight, June 22, 6:15 AM

The state of empathy in leadership - and it's not healthy!

Ron McIntyre's curator insight, June 26, 1:41 AM

We are human so empathy must be part of our leadership style or we are nothing but robots.

Bay Jordan's curator insight, June 26, 6:18 AM
Really useful insights here for anyone who relies on others to deliver performance - which is most of us! 
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The Flighty Nature of Attention - Mindful

The Flighty Nature of Attention - Mindful | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
How meditation allows us to stumble upon something we've always wanted: a settled, stable mind in the midst of the chaos of life.

Via Bobby Dillard
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I used a variety of minfulness methods to be more present. I meditated on my own, attended weekend events, attended intensive meditation events, etc. Using various ways to help me meditate benefited my mindfulness in the classroom and life in general.
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Want to Get More Done? Try Taking More Breaks 

Want to Get More Done? Try Taking More Breaks  | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it

Should you begin doing less, in order to accomplish more?

 

Via donhornsby
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Take time and listen to your spirit.
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Andrea Ross's curator insight, June 8, 8:37 PM

""Taking a break every 90 minutes - yes please""

Paulette Dotson's curator insight, June 9, 11:47 AM
Who knew that taking more breaks would lead to more productivity?  It gives us a chance to unwind and come back and see things with a new perspective.
Jerry Busone's curator insight, June 23, 7:43 AM

A lot of truth to this ....

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Happiness Begins When You Stop Seeking ‘Balance’ – Thrive Global

Happiness Begins When You Stop Seeking ‘Balance’ – Thrive Global | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Trying to work your 9–5, start your business, go to school, clean your home, eat healthy, workout, be the perfect friend/siblings/child/spouse/parent, etc is just down right tiring. When I started my…
Via Pavel Barta
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Balance is unattainable. What we can seek is being mindful of our daily living. I experienced a significant shift when I began to meditate and focus on the present moment. I was able to be present for students, parents, colleagues, and myself.
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How to Play With Words (and Find Your Voice)

How to Play With Words (and Find Your Voice) | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Is your word choice a tad staid? This tutorial helps you play with words so your writing stands out. Includes various examples plus a word choice exercise.

Via Penelope
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I used poetry with students to help them play with and find words. Poetry writing is a way to discover and express who we are through our voice.

The points at the end of the article are insightful. It reads more like a know your audience list, as opposed to a do and don't do list.
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Penelope's curator insight, May 23, 8:50 PM
Cat got your tongue when it comes to putting words to paper? Well, kick out the cat and keep silent no more! Henneke enchants us yet again with her magical formula to find our voice. Cough out that fur ball and be silent no more!

***This review was written by Penelope Silvers for her curated content on "Writing Rightly"*** 
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How a Positive Outlook Helps Mindful Leaders Thrive

How a Positive Outlook Helps Mindful Leaders Thrive | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
A leader is identified as having the Positive Outlook EI Competency if they have a dominant belief that the future holds better potentia

Via Pavel Barta
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Mindful people have a postive outlook on life. Being in the moment and understanding "this too shall pass" is essential.

Leading is part of educating and pedagogy. Teaching in mindful ways seems essential.
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How Silence Rewires Your Brain to Make You More Intelligent — MyScienceAcademy

How Silence Rewires Your Brain to Make You More Intelligent — MyScienceAcademy | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it

In 2011, the Finish tourism board decided to run a campaign promoting the “silence” you can get by visiting the beautiful country. Along with photos of awe-inspiring landscapes, they used the slogan “Silence, Please”.


Via Mark E. Deschaine, PhD, Andreas Christodoulou, Wilfried Andral, malek
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Just to be is essential. I discovered that meditation and silence helped me as a teacher in unpredictable ways.
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Tom Wojick's curator insight, May 29, 12:24 PM

The sounds of silence are indeed important. Learning to befriend silence in a world that is constantly bombarding us with noise requires practice.

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Is mindfulness meditation good for kids? Here’s what the science actually says.

Is mindfulness meditation good for kids? Here’s what the science actually says. | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
I read more than a dozen studies — including systematic meta-reviews, which account for thousands of other papers — analyzing the best available research on mindfulness (in both students and adults) and talked to researchers and advocates involved in the work. I asked these experts what questions and concerns parents should have when they hear mindfulness is coming to their schools. (Scroll down for those questions.)

The short of it: The relatively few studies we have on mindfulness in schools suggest a generally positive effect on decreasing anxiety and increasing cognitive performance. But the hype around mindfulness also seems to be outpacing the science, especially when it comes to teaching these practices to children.

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

 

Appears to be quite a comprehensive synthesis of the available research.


Via Jim Lerman, Lars-Göran Hedström
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Meditation and mindfulness are not cure-alls. They offer benefits, but we need to make sure they are not treated as fix-its.
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5 of the Best Self-Care Practices for Real Change

5 of the Best Self-Care Practices for Real Change | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it

Do you associate self-care with physical activities like a restorative nap, a soothing bath, or time in nature?  Maybe, to you, self-care means buying something nice for yourself, or pulling out a coloring book to reduce stress. 


Via Stefano Principato, Bobby Dillard
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Be responsible, authentic, and positive. Take time and set boundaries. The last two are challenging for teachers. We end up rushing through days and not thinking about how that takes a toll on us.
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Child suicide attempts DOUBLED in the last decade, figures reveal

Child suicide attempts DOUBLED in the last decade, figures reveal | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
In 2008, suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts accounted for 0.67 percent of child cases in 32 US hospitals. By 2015, that figure had more than doubled to 1.79 percent.

Via Dorothy Sander
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
What role can teachers play?
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The Eye of the Hurricane – Michael Jacobs – Medium

The Eye of the Hurricane – Michael Jacobs – Medium | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Inside, at the center, you reside. Around you there are other thoughts and energies that are not yours. When stillness is created, so is an awareness. The more the stillness is fed, the more the…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
A teacher I interviewed spoke about learning to stop and just be quiet in the middle of teaching. I discovered meditation and Yoga help, as well. Each teacher can approach being a mindful teacher in their particular way.
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Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density

Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have
become increasingly popular, but to date little is known about neural mechanisms associated
with these interventions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most
widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects
on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders. Here,
we report a controlled longitudinal study to investigate pre–post changes in brain
gray matter concentration attributable to participation in an MBSR program.

Via Suzanne Izzard
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
The more research we have into the impacts of mindfulness and meditative practices the more they may become part of our daily living. Hopefully, this does not mean a formulaic way of meditating and being mindful
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The key to jobs in the future is not college but compassion 

The key to jobs in the future is not college but compassion  | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Human jobs in the future will be the ones that require emotional labour: currently undervalued and underpaid but invaluable

Via Stefano Principato, Dean J. Fusto
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Teaching children soft skills in schools is essential to their future world. In a world of digital tools and social media, the human touch and human relationships are essential.
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The Spirit of Mindfulness and the Spirit of Science Are More Similar Than You Think

The Spirit of Mindfulness and the Spirit of Science Are More Similar Than You Think | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
We’re so close to Earth that sometimes we forget how beautiful it is. Seen from space, our blue planet is remarkably alive — a living paradise suspended in a vast and hostile cosmos. On the first…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
This is an excerpt from Thich Nhat Hanh's The Art of Living. The gerund, rather than the noun, is essential.
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Mindful in Middle School

Mindful in Middle School | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
One teacher’s experience incorporating mindfulness into her middle school curriculum.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I used a dialogue circle to create time to meditate. It took less explaining and seemed less controversial. It allowed for moments of silence and being present. At other times, students talked and shared.

There is research evidence as to the benefits of meditation and how it can positively impact the brain.
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How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
New research is starting to explore how gratitude works to improve our mental health.

Via Stefano Principato, massimo facchinetti, malek
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Research has been helpful in areas such as meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude. Being present is one way to show one's gratitude.
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The Ancient Poem That Will Put Your Life in Perspective

The Ancient Poem That Will Put Your Life in Perspective | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
You don’t have to be a depressed celebrity to find solace in one of the Sufi mystic Rumi’s most unforgettable poems.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Rumi and his poem The Guesthouse are favourites of mine. The point of the article is the message is a counter narrative to a highly materialistic and consumerist world. To be present in the world is a way to counter what we call capitalism. What we have to remember is Adam Smith was a moral philosopher.

"Rumi stands as an inspiring source for contemporary quests for spirituality.”
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The Art of Admiring: A Mindful Lesson from a Toy Camera - Mindful

The Art of Admiring: A Mindful Lesson from a Toy Camera - Mindful | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
How one photo-addicted mom found mindfulness in her daughter's toy camera. Plus, a simple noticing practice for non-judgemental awareness.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
"While perusing through Mindful.org, I came across an article about the slow-photography movement—a mini-rebellion against the tendency to photograph every detail of every moment"

When we live in ways that try to remove the mystery from life, we miss a lot. When I began teaching more mindfully, I was more aware of what was essential to my teaching: my relationships with students, parents, and colleagues.
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How to Show Empathy

Listen. Listening is one of the most effective ways you can demonstrate empathy to other people. When you are practicing active listening, you are listening with purpose.[1] You aren't fiddling about on your phone, or thinking about what you're going to make for dinner tonight, you're really taking in what the other person is saying.


If you're listening to someone and you get distracted by thinking about dinner or whatever it is you want to say next in the conversation, bring yourself back to the present by saying "I was just thinking about ___(last thing you remember them saying)__ and I was wondering if you could repeat what you just said so that I don't miss anything."


Look the speaker in the eye (don't stare, but try to maintain eye contact), and sit facing the person. Don't let your gaze drift all over the place, because it will look as though you aren't paying attention and that you don't care what this person has to say.
Active listening requires three things.[2] First, paraphrase what the person said to show that you understood the content.

 


Via Edwin Rutsch, june holley
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
The article is indepth. It focuses on being attentive, being present, and being mindful to the other person. It also speaks about imagining what it might be like to be in the other person's situation.

Teachers can play a role by modeling these skills.
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What Does Spiritual Growth Have To Do With Life Success?

What Does Spiritual Growth Have To Do With Life Success? | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
The traditional tertiary and professional education largely involves developing intellect, in particular the skills of reasoning, analysis, problem-solving and memory. It trains us to see ourselves…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
"Spiritual growth helps create a vision of our highest purpose. It provides tools to raise our energy frequency, move away from ego and move towards the truth."

Ron Malhotra draws on William James, a pragmatist, in pointing towards spiritual growth's practical benefits. I don't mean we become more productive in our jobs, but brings a certain calmness to living.

When I began meditating and walking, I discovered many insights in these practices. They helped me be a better teacher, to be present to the person who spoke to me, and led to a calmness that had not been there before. It also led me away from the profession.
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These Ancient Trees Have Stories to Tell

These Ancient Trees Have Stories to Tell | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
Over three trillion trees live on planet Earth, and yet we know so few of their stories. Of course all trees play an important role—purifying the air, hosting the feathered and the furry, teaching kids (and kids at heart) how to climb—but some have spent more time doing these things than others. Quiver trees, for […]

Via Suvi Salo
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Each part of nature, large and small, has a story to tell. Mountains tell a geologic story, trees an ecological one, and humans human stories. They are stores of surviving, thriving, and living.

Deep ecology looks for depth and richness in these stories that are not always evident. Deep pedagogy would be similar in many ways. Teaching becomes looking for what is not readily evident to the teacher. It is about learning through being sensitive to the students we meet each day.
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The Ego And The True Self (or, Three Great Quotes About The Inner Life)

The Ego And The True Self (or, Three Great Quotes About The Inner Life) | Leadership and Spirituality | Scoop.it
In his book Fear of Life: The Wisdom of Failure psychotherapist Alexander Lowen wrote that it is the fate of modern men and women (particularly in western society) to become neurotic. The Oxford…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
The crux of the article and quotes is to point out how humans, particularly in the Western world, place undue burdens on themselves. Tapping into the inner life, the Self, is essential to living a fuller life.
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Everything and everyone is connected.

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

"How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?" the reporter asked.

"Why sir," said the farmer, "didn't you know? The winds picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn."

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn we must help our neighbor grow good corn.

---Author unknown.

Via Vilma Bonilla
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
The moral of the story is simple: everything and everyone is related in the world. This is not by blood, but because we depend on each other in ways we cannot begin to imagine. Teachers have students come into their classrooms each day. They bring their stories, histories, and relationships with them, without teachers being aware of what that all means. Deep pedagogy is more than a catch phrase. It is what hides in the contours of the pedagogic landscape that we cannot easily see and may never see.
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Vilma Bonilla's curator insight, April 23, 10:35 PM
A simple story about how everything and everyone is connected. And once we understand this, the world can live in peace.

This portrait of me was taken by my very talented friend and photographer, Calvin Lee. You may find Calvin on Instagram or twitter; accounts listed below. He really is the "Nicest guy in LA."

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mayhemstudios/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mayhemstudios